Adam van Koeverden Speaks Up for Parkinson’s Disease

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Strength, endurance and determination are all prerequisites for competing at an international level in an Olympic kayak race. These same qualities are also needed when faced with a family member having been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

Adam van Koeverden, born January 29, 1982, is a record-breaking Canadian sprint kayaker who unfortunately learned his father must now battle this long-term affliction.

Since 2003, Adam has achieved worldwide recognition after receiving the Silver Medal in the Gainsville, Florida’s World Cup K-1 1,000 metre race. Only a year later, Adam took home  the Gold Medal for Canada at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Now with his four Olympic medals, two World Championship Titles and collection of World Cups, Adam’s next challenge will be spreading the word about the heart-breaking disease and uphill battle his father now faces.

Without knowing the cause of Parkinson’s Disease, and with no cure in sight, there is a substantial need for medical research funding aimed at combatting this affliction. Decades of research have shown that Parkinson’s Disease may be caused a combination of genetic and environmental factors, but this theory, and the evidence supporting it, are vague and indefinite.

Many foundations dedicated to combatting this disease have been created; however, in order to make headway, greater community support is needed in order to alleviate the effects of this disease, and hopefully, one day, find a cure for the millions of people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease today.

On September 6, 2013, Adam will be joining us at the Capitol Event Theatre. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Morton & Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Centre at the Toronto Western Hospital.

Everyone is invited to join Adam and other special guests, including rock legend Tom Cochrane, for a night of great food, drinks, provided by an open bar, and amazing entertainment. Hope to see you there!

*Don’t miss a special evening with rock legend Tom Cochrane in support of the Morton & Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Centre at the Toronto Western Hospital. Set in the fabulous Capital Event Theatre, the event will include an open bar, great food, a silent auction and amazing entertainment. 

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Smile Or Go To Jail!

Many spectators enjoy watching a good cycling race, especially when it is at the Olympic Games. Now, however, the level of enjoyment has been set to a high standard by the Surrey police. Mark Worsfold, 54, did not meet that bar when he was consequently thrown to the ground, handcuffed and brought to the police station where he was charged with breach of the peace. He was allegedly in breach of the peace because he did not support a smile while observing the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, Worsfold is not capable of displaying a smile or a frown on his face since his ill-fated diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in 2010.

Worsfold is a former soldier and a martial arts instructor who has a range of symptoms that vary almost hourly. Like most Parkinson’s patients, Worsfold’s struggles can be seen in his facial expressions, or lack thereof. The muscle rigidity in his face affects his ability to control how he would like to express himself. Although Worsfold was most likely enjoying the race, he can easily be perceived as having a hostile appearance.

Whether there was an absence of compassion, a chronic misunderstanding or simply plain ignorance, this is the type of treatment that patients with Parkinson’s disease have to suffer through each day. Raising awareness of this life-altering disease will help reduce the amount of assumptions that many sufferers face – whether the assumption be that they are publicly intoxicated or planning to attack athletes during Olympic events. A more empathetic approach needs to be practiced and what better way to start than to have a party to kick it off. “Shake It Up For Parkinson’s” will bring awareness and education to the community. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease should be welcomed in the community and at public events, rather than have to face the assumptions thrown at them each day.

Hope to see you there!

*Don’t miss a special evening with rock legend Tom Cochrane in support of the Morton & Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Centre at the Toronto Western Hospital. Set in the fabulous Capital Event Theatre, the event will include an open bar, great food, a silent auction and amazing entertainment.